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I need a Google Talk client for my Ubuntu. Nothing fancy, I just don't want to keep my browser open all the time. I was using Pidgin, but about two weeks ago it became extremely slow and unresponsive. I have brand new AMD APU, a lot of memory and SSD HDD on SATA III, so I don't think any hardware upgrade will be able to help. I clearly need a new client.

I was perfectly happy with Pidgin, so my question is: What software for Ubuntu is just like it, but made by different team (and thus unaffected by bug that hit me)?

Features I liked in Pidgin was:

  • Contact list automatically synchronized with Google
  • Auto-login
  • Google-compatible status display
  • Small, simple interface
  • Hidden in an icon next to the clock (in KDE) most of the time
  • Didn't require me to know XMPP parameters of Google server, I was able to just select Google and have it working, with no thinking on my part needed. Just user and password.
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    Does the client have to support voice as well, or just chat? In that case Mozilla Thunderbird would work fine – Tymric Sep 3 '14 at 18:47
  • @Timmy Never used voice, to be honest. I don't know if pidgin supports it well, and I will not cry for it :) – Mołot Sep 3 '14 at 18:49
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    Could you list what you mean with "just like it"? Currently, almost any XMPP client seems to be a possible solution (if they did not cancel their XMPP support completely) which is probably too broad. – unor Sep 3 '14 at 21:03
  • @unor Done. If it's still too broad, so be it - I don't know how to make it any better, if it needs to be closed, it will. If there is anything more to add, I'll try if asked to. – Mołot Sep 3 '14 at 21:15
  • @Mołot: Sounds fine, thanks :) – unor Sep 3 '14 at 21:17
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The email client Mozilla Thunderbird also has a chat service which supports Google Talk accounts. It works on Ubuntu, and it is updated frequently. So you can assume that all bugs would be addressed quickly.

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2

If you use Google Chrome, you can install Hangouts from Chrome Web Store.

Hangouts opens in a separate window and will continue to run even after you exit Chrome.

Screenshot of Hangouts showing it running in separate windows

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If you use KDE, you will find Telepathy is a great ready-installed choice.

The Quick Chat widgets even show the avatar of the person in chat with me (I use for Facebook, but I think it also works for Google Talk). When your conversation is closed, the icon will disappears.

enter image description here

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If you like KDE, you can use Kopete is an excellent alternative.

Personally I advise you to use Empathy

It is an instant messaging program supporting text, voice, video, file transfers and inter-application communication over many different protocols, including: AIM, MSN, Google Talk (Jabber/XMPP), Facebook, Yahoo!, Salut, Gadu-Gadu, Groupwise, ICQ and QQ.

Install in Ubuntu:

 sudo apt-get install empathy

enter image description here

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